BOAT Race. It is the biggest annual waterfest on Ballarat’s Lake Wendouree.
And the Ballarat Associated Schools community will show why when it turns out in force tomorrow morning.
This is the second year the Head of the Lake rowing regatta has been back in Ballarat after spending a decade of drought on Lake Nagambie and the Barwon River at Geelong.
Ballarat Grammar School is the defending girls’ and boys’ Head of the Lake champion.
Not only did Grammar complete the double on Lake Wendouree a year ago, it went on to snare the boys’ and girls’ national titles in Perth.
While keen to retain the Patterson Shield (girls) and Dowling Challenge Cup (boys), Grammar’s division one crews are not getting ahead of themselves in their defence of the titles.
Matt Haberfield is coxing the boys’ firsts crew for the third year.
He said anything could happen on the day and it could be anyone’s race.
St Patrick’s College division one stroke and captain Caleb McGrath said he could not wait to get out on the water.
“We’re very nervous, and very excited, but just can’t wait to get out there and create a storm amongst the field and change things up a bit,” McGrath said.
Of all the schools, Loreto College tells a different story.
Loreto’s rowing program is only in its seventh year, and is yet to take out the big race.
The 2013 crew is unsure how they will fare in the big one, but all girls said they had worked hard and it would mean the world if they were the crew to claim the Head of the Lake.
For Ballarat Clarendon College, the girls have shown strong form the past few years, taking the title in 2010 and 2011 before Grammar reclaimed it last year.
Ballarat High School has been on the outer far too long, last taking a division one win in a boys’ event in 2000.
The first race begins at 9am with the Year 9 girls’ division four.
The boys’ Head of the Lake begins at 11.54am and girls’ at 12.09pm.